• Anonymous

Skipping School During AP Week? Delinquency or Absenteeism?

In the midst of the hectic weeks of Advanced Placement (AP) testing, more than 2.8 million students enrolled in AP program take their final exams - to many, an accumulation of a year’s worth of strenuous effort and an distinct exemplification of an one’s academic prowess (no matter the inaccuracy of such generalizations). Anxious students, in turn, often opt to take absences the day(s) preceding their big AP exam. When absenteeism is of a heightened relevance, there is great pertinence in defining and differentiating the terms and implications of Truancy and Chronic Absenteeism.


Truancy is commonly defined as the action and tendency of taking absence from school without valid reason. A relevant topic in itself, there has been large debate held on the matter of the nationwide issue of truancy throughout the United States. In short, truancy is the more commonly perceived, stereotyped form of absenteeism in which a student opts to skip school from a lack of motivation and arraying forms of personal issues. However, there is no universal meaning of truancy, it is commonly marked by solely unexcused absences. As advised by the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is well fit to read your school district policies and state codes on attendance, as the number of unexcused absences it takes for a student to be considered a "truant" differs by state. Commonly, schools attempt to handle “minor truancy” through the means of warning letters and parent-teacher conferences. However, in some states, parents can be fined or even jailed when their kids are absent for far too long durations.


In contrast, Chronic absenteeism is defined as missing too much school—for any reason—excused or unexcused. The key differentiation between Truancy and Chronic Absenteeism lies in the definition of an absence, where truancy addresses only unexcused absences while Chronic Absenteeism addresses all absences. As per the American Academy of Pediatrics, this often includes kids with ADHD, autism, or developmental delays are more likely to be chronically absent; with common mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression, are also prominent causes of absences.


As such, it is important to be informed of and effectively differentiate the matter of Truancy vs Chronic Absenteeism, much for the sake of those thrown under an unjustified light, already fighting many of their personal issues and health disorders.

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